Research Papers on African-American Literature

Click on any of the term papers to read a brief synopsis of the research paper. The essay synopsis includes the number of pages and sources cited in the paper.

  • Literature and Life

    A 3 page paper which examines Arnold Weinstein’s thesis, in his book “A Scream Goes Through the House: What Literature Teaches Us About Life,” which indicates that literature provides us information regarding human conditions. Bibliography lists 5 sources.

  • Turning Point for James McBride, Within the Color of Water

    This 5 page paper gives an explanation of a part of the book The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother. This paper includes what life events caused James to change his life for the better. Bibliography lists 3 sources.

  • A Look at James and Ruth in The Color of Water

    Similarities and differences in the characters of James and Ruth are explored. There are three sources cited in the bibliography of this three page paper.

  • Character Comparison of James and Ruth in The Color of Water by James McBride

    In two and a half pages the son and mother are contrasted and compared as they are represented in this autobiographical work. Two sources are cited in the bibliography.

  • Sexuality in Seraph on the Suwanee by Zora Neale Hurston

    This paper examines the sexuality featured in this 1948 final novel by Zora Neale Hurston in five pages. Five sources are cited in the bibliography.

  • Slave Narratives and Virtue in the Works of Harriet Ann Jacobs and Harriet Wilson

    In 10 pages this paper discusses how virtue is depicted in the slave narratives Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Ann Jacobs and Our Nig by Harriet Wilson. Eight sources are cited in the bibliography.

  • Racism, Imagination, and Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye

    In five pages this paper discusses how the imagination assists in coping with racism as demonstrated in this 1970 novel by Toni Morrison.

  • A comparison between the main characters in Jane Eyre and Antonia

    This paper considers the similarities and differences between Jane in Jane Eyre, and Antonia in My Antonia by Cather. This eight page paper has six sources listed in the bibliography.

  • Alice Walker's The Color Purple and Women's Roles

    Women's roles and their stereotypes are the focus of this analysis of The Color Purple by Alice Walker consisting of seven pages.

  • The Bluest Eye & The Color Purple

    A 5 page essay that discusses Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye and Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, which are similar in that both authors use the structure of their novels as a tool that facilitates the achievement of their thematic purposes. In The Bluest Eye, Morrison’s references to the Dick-and-Jane reading primer aids Morrison in contrasting the mainstream cultural ideal, that is, the world represented in the Dick-and-Jane stories, against the violence of her protagonist’s world. This contrast also serves to underscore the way in which mainstream white ideals are assimilated by black Americans and contribute to their dysfunction and unhappiness. Similarly, in The Color Purple, Walker uses her novel’s epistolary format to dramatize her protagonist’s evolution from an insecure, brutalized girl toward an independent, secure woman with her own voice. Bibliography lists 5 sources.

  • Women Rising Above Oppression in The Color Purple

    A 6 page paper which examines female characters in The Color Purple by Alice Walker and how they rise above oppression. No additional sources cited.

  • Written on the Body, The Color Purple

    A 4 page essay that contrasts and compares ideas about love in Jeanette Winterson's novel Written on the Body and the film The Color Purple, which was adapted from the novel by Alice Walker. Bibliography lists 1 source.

  • Langston Hughes' Blues Poetry

    Imagery, metaphor, rhythm and their interplay in Hughes' blues poetry are examined in a consideration of his works "Ballad of the Landlord," "Listen Here Blues," "Dream Boogie," "Young Gal's Blues," and "The Weary Blues." The bibliography cites six sources.

  • African American Theater and Blues and the Influential Works of Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes

    In ten pages this paper contrasts and compares the influence of these authors upon African American theater and blues in an analysis of such works as Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God and 'How It Feels to be Colored' and Hughes' 'Po' Boy Blues' and 'The Weary Blues.' Thirteen sources are cited in the bibliography.

  • Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man

    A 5 page essay exploring Weldon's characterization and themes surrounding the thematic element of race. An emphasis is placed on the mother's influence on her son's life. 2 sources are listed.

  • DOUBLE STANDARD BY ELLEN WATKINS HARPER

    Discusses Ellen Watkins Harper's poem "The Double Standard," and how it describes the double standard society had for men and women.

  • Marriages: Their Eyes Were Watching God

    A 4 page paper which examines arranged marriages v love marriages based on Sora Neale Hurston’s novel Their Eyes Were Watching God. The paper argues that in reference to the novel arranged marriages fail in comparison to love marriages. No additional sources cited.

  • Tar Baby by Toni Morrison

    This 4 page paper describes Toni Morrison's use of imagery and metaphor in her novel Tar Baby.

  • James Weldon Johnson's The Autobiography of an Ex Colored Man and Identity

    In six pages this paper discusses how identity is sought through people, education and music in this African American autobiography. There are no other sources listed.

  • Study Guide/Oedipus the King & Darker Face of the Earth

    A 5 page research paper that offers a study guide and suggestions on how to understand and approach the task of essay writing on 2 plays: Oedipus the King by Sophocles and The Darker Face of the Earth by Rita Dove. To repeat this, this paper is not an essay but it rather suggestions and a study guide. Bibliography lists 3 sources.

  • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston and the Characters of Tea Cake and Janie

    In three pages this paper discusses the relationship between Tea Cake and Janie in an examination of her love and commitment to him. There are no other sources listed.

  • Angelou's I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings and Problem of Racism

    Maya Angelou's autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, is fundamentally a detailed examination of racism. The writer argues that Angelou's text is an inspirational account of overcoming the oppression of racism. This seven page paper has eight sources in the bibliography.

  • Life, Art, and Maya Angelou

    In five pages this research paper examines how the life of Maya Angelou is featured in her literary art with such texts as Heart of a Woman, Singin' and Swingin', Makin' Merry Like Christmas and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Six sources are cited in the bibliography.

  • Social Stratification and 'I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings' by Maya Angelou

    In six pages this paper examines social stratification within the context of this work by Maya Angelou. There is 1 source cited in the bibliography.

  • Maya Angelou and Malcolm X, No Comparison?

    For many, a comparison of the gentle grace of Maya Angelou's poetry with the fiery prose of Malcolm X would be difficult. Yet, as this paper demonstrates, using The Autobiography of Malcolm X and God's Children Need Traveling Shoes, both share the profound effects of a visit to Africa and childhood trauma.This paper has six pages and four sources are listed in the bibliography.

  • Life and Poetry of Maya Angelou

    In five pages this paper examines the life and poetry of Maya Angelou including the classic I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Seven sources are cited in the bibliography.

  • A Comparison of the Print and Film Versions of, A Raisin In The Sun

    This essay compares and contrasts various elements of Lorraine Hansberry's, A Raisin In The Sun, and how the original play compares to the film. This five page paper has no additional sources listed in the bibliography.

  • Themes Of Maturity In Hansberry's Play, Raisin In The Sun

    This paper addresses maturity and prolonged adolescence as themes in Lorraine Hansberry's play, Raisin In The Sun. This five page paper has no additional sources listed in the bibliography.

  • Struggle And Survival As Themes In Hansberry's Raisin In The Sun

    This paper examines the themes of survival and struggle in Hansberry's play, Raisin In The Sun. This seven page paper has five sources listed in the bibliography.

  • Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry and the Theme of Material Happiness and Money

    In five pages this report examines the theme of money bringing material happiness as reflected by the protagonist Walter Lee Younger in the play Raisin in the Sun. There is one source cited in the bibliography.

  • Walker: “Everyday Use”

    This 4 page paper discusses Alice Walker’s short story, “Everyday Use.” Bibliography lists 1 source.

  • Alice Walker’s Everyday Use

    An 8 page paper which compares conflicts of the characters in Alice Walker’s short story Everyday Use. Bibliography lists 4 sources.

  • Comparison and Contrast: Alice Walker and James Baldwin

    A 4 page comparison and contrast between Alice Walker’s Everyday Use and James Baldwin’s Sonny’s Blues. No additional sources cited.

  • Alice Walker/Everyday Use

    A 3 page research paper that first briefly discusses biographical background on author Alice Walker and then discusses the themes and characterization used in her short story “Everyday Use.” Bibliography lists 4 sources.

  • Langston Hughes/Critical Response to 2 Poems

    A 9 page research paper that discusses 2 poems by Langston Hughes (1902-1967), who has been termed the “Shakespeare of Harlem,” as he is credited with some of the finest poetry to emerge from that “great flowering of African-American literature known as the Harlem Renaissance” (Sundquist 55). Two of his poems, “Harlem,” which is also known under the title “Dream Deferred,” and “I, Too, Sing America” exemplify the radical protest spirit that characterizes a great deal of Hughes’ verse. Bibliography lists 9 sources.

  • 2 African American Poets/Cullen & Hughes

    A 3 page essay/research paper that discusses and analyzes 2 Harlem Renaissance poets, Langston Hughes and Countee Cullen. The writer briefly discusses the historical context and background of each poet and analyzes Hughes' "Mother to Son" and Cullen's "Saturday's Child." Bibliography lists 3 sources that were drawn from the Norton Anthology of African American Literature.

  • Harlem Renaissance and Poet Langston Hughes

    In seven pages the life of Langston Hughes and his poetic contributions to the Harlem Renaissance are examined. Five sources are cited in the bibliography.

  • Maya Angelou/Phenomenal Woman

    A 4 page essay that offers an explication and analysis of this poem. Throughout the course of human history, men haven been primarily admired for their accomplishments, but the focus of admiration for women has been on whether or not their appearance fit with what a particular society considered beautiful. In her poem "Phenomenal Woman," Maya Angelou challenges this pervasive cultural feature and asserts that she is extraordinary and immensely attractive, without fitting within any of society's preconceived notions of how female beauty and attractiveness should be defined and conceptualized. No additional sources cited.

  • Toni Morrison’s Sula: Moral Ambiguity

    A 3 page paper which examines moral ambiguity in Toni Morrison’s novel Sula. No additional sources cited.

  • The Importance of Memory in Beloved by Toni Morrison

    This 3 page paper discusses the vital importance of memory, re-call memory, and what is called disremembering. The writer compares and contrasts the painful experience of remembering for several characters, including Paul D, Sethe and Baby Suggs. In comparing the characters, the writer includes the effects of memory on the character and how they deal with their memories.

  • Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, American Identity and Education

    In five pages the discovery of individual identity through education is examined within the context of the poems 'Salvation' by Langston Hughes and 'Graduation' by Maya Angelou. Six sources are cited in the bibliography.

  • Economic Institution of Slavery in Beloved by Toni Morrison

    In 5 pages the economics of slavery are examined in an analysis of this novel by Toni Morrison.

  • Spirituality as a Concept in Black American Literature

    5 pages and 5 sources. This paper provides an overview of the theme of spirituality as it is defined and utilized in African American literature. This paper shows a number of examples of the use of spirituality.

  • Spirituality and Storytelling in Beloved by Toni Morrison

    In three pages this paper compares the importance of storytelling and spirituality in this text with 'Everyday Use' by Alice Walker and her depiction of the spirituality of her female characters. There are no other sources listed.

  • Gender Relations in Zora Neale Hurston's 'Sweat' and Their Eyes Were Watching God

    In four pages this research paper examines how gender relations is depicted by Zora Neale Hurston in her novel Their Eyes Were Watching God and in her short story 'Sweat.' Six sources are cited in the bibliography.

  • Religious Symbolism in Hurston’s “Sweat”

    This 4 page paper discusses the religious symbolism in Zora Neale Hurston’s short story “Sweat.” Bibliography lists 3 sources.

  • How Women Are Treated in "Sweat" by Zora Neale Hurston

    Delia Jones as a reflection of Hurston's treatment of Women in her 1926 story "Sweat" is the subject of a literary critique in 6 pages (5 pages of text and a 1 page outline). The bibliography cites 4 sources.

  • The Bluest Eye and Abuse

    5 pages that discuss abuse from Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye and abuse in society. There are 3 sources.

  • The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison and Pecola

    In four pages a character analysis of Pecola as presented in the novel The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison is presented. Five sources are cited in the bibliography.

  • Depiction of Women in The Color Purple by Alice Walker

    The depiction of African American Women as suffering because they are female, black, and poor in The Color Purple by Alice Walker is analyzed in a paper consisting of three pages. There are no other sources listed.

  • Women’s Friendship: “The Color Purple”

    A 5 page paper which examines the friendship of women regarding Celie and Sofia in “The Color Purple” by Alice Walker. No additional sources cited.

  • Boundaries of McCarthyism and in The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, The Crucible, and Beloved

    This paper examines boundaries that are imposed and crossed within the context of McCarthyism and these literary works in five pages. Three sources are cited in the bibliography.

  • White and Black Culture in Beloved by Toni Morrison

    This 6 page paper argues that Toni Morrison's book Beloved exposes the way in which white culture dictates black identity.

 

Most Relevant Research Papers

Click on any of the term papers to read a brief synopsis of the research paper. The essay synopsis includes the number of pages and sources cited in the paper.

 

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